Monday, 26 August 2013

the outdoor life

As Winter here in Australia is in its final fling, naturally thoughts- well mine, anyway- are turning to the promise of Spring and the new life and fresh beginnings that it brings, warmer and longer days, more time spent enjoying the outdoors and hopefully less of the Artic-esque winds that have been blowing through town for the past few weeks. Brrrr. The thought of shedding some layers and not having washing hanging out on the line in the constant cycle of drying- getting rained on- partially drying- getting rained on again, and again and again, well it's all sounding mighty appealing.

I've been taking advantage of any dry-ish weekends to spend some time working on the garden. The veggie patch is in its second crop now and almost ready for harvesting. We planted parsnips which probably look the most promising at this stage, carrots which seems to be slightly stunted in terms of growth, beetroots which to my untrained eye appear be doing well, and broccoli which is pretty much a write-off, having first been attacked by caterpillars and then developing some form of disease whereby the leaves become covered in rapidly expanding mysterious yellow patches. Oh well, you win some, you lose some! I've been growing some flowers from seed and planting the seedlings in pots and scattered around the front of the house ready to add some colour and welcome the start of the warmer months. I'm most excited about the sweet peas flowering, strategically placed in mis-matched pots in front of the ugly metal shed to try and pretty it up. Painting it in beach hut inspired classic stripes is another project on the ridiculously long and over-ambitious list of outdoor DIYs and tasks we (I), hope (Curt) to complete before Summer rolls around. Along with creating a paved entertaining/ seating/ barbeque area and a path from the back deck to the shed to name just a couple.

And chickens, I am not giving up my dream of backyard chickens even though it was originally vetoed by the man of the house. I am steadily working on him and spending probably too much time researching the logistics of chicken coops and types of hens and their laying habits. Not to mention Lila's kindergarten just had a clutch of baby chicks born which will shortly be looking for homes- it's a sign! I am probably out of my mind considering one of my children absolutely refuses to eat eggs and the other one can only rarely be coaxed to eat them, despite having offered them up in every appealing form under the sun. However I am ever optimistic this may change in the near future with the excitement of collecting them freshly laid! There has also been talk of getting a dog, which there has been since we finally bought a home and moved here last October but now we have got as far as identifying a possible time-frame, which is at the end of the year. I think we may be the only people who live in our little town that don't have a dog, and I promise I'm not exaggerating. The ratio of dogs to people here is staggering but I suppose it makes sense seeing as there are no lack of beaches right on our doorstep there are some many great coastal paths and bush walks to take them out for a run.

Lastly, I am looking forward to some trips to explore some more of the amazing coastline we are surrounded by. Aside from a couple of day trips, every spare moment of our first Summer here was taken up with house projects, accumulating furniture and establishing our home (I shudder at the amount of money and time we have spent at our local home improvement store). So I am ultra-keen to make up for lost time by embarking on many adventures in the upcoming months. Even camping, which we have never done before due to an anti-camping husband who is not a fan of giving up his home-comforts. However, I know it would be so much fun and the children would love it, and so again, I am working to convince him to dip his toe in the waters. I am hoping all these beautiful images of Artemis and her family camping in the English countryside, well 'glamping' is more like it (from the lovely blog Junkaholique) may help to convince him that it doesn't have to be all dingy toilet and shower blocks, cruddy food and nylon sleeping bags. This is most definitely the type of camping I aspire to one day. Surely if camping was always this spectacular, no-one would ever feel the need to get on a plane again. We just need to lay our hands on that vintage VW camper and amazing canvas tent!

All images via Junkaholique

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